Open Access

Audio-Visual Speech Recognition Using MPEG-4 Compliant Visual Features

  • Petar S. Aleksic1Email author,
  • Jay J. Williams1,
  • Zhilin Wu1 and
  • Aggelos K. Katsaggelos1
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20022002:150948

Received: 3 December 2001

Published: 28 November 2002


We describe an audio-visual automatic continuous speech recognition system, which significantly improves speech recognition performance over a wide range of acoustic noise levels, as well as under clean audio conditions. The system utilizes facial animation parameters (FAPs) supported by the MPEG-4 standard for the visual representation of speech. We also describe a robust and automatic algorithm we have developed to extract FAPs from visual data, which does not require hand labeling or extensive training procedures. The principal component analysis (PCA) was performed on the FAPs in order to decrease the dimensionality of the visual feature vectors, and the derived projection weights were used as visual features in the audio-visual automatic speech recognition (ASR) experiments. Both single-stream and multistream hidden Markov models (HMMs) were used to model the ASR system, integrate audio and visual information, and perform a relatively large vocabulary (approximately 1000 words) speech recognition experiments. The experiments performed use clean audio data and audio data corrupted by stationary white Gaussian noise at various SNRs. The proposed system reduces the word error rate (WER) by 20% to 23% relatively to audio-only speech recognition WERs, at various SNRs (0–30 dB) with additive white Gaussian noise, and by 19% relatively to audio-only speech recognition WER under clean audio conditions.


audio-visual speech recognitionfacial animation parameterssnake

Authors’ Affiliations

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, USA


© Aleksic et al. 2002